The philosopher, writer and blogger, Mike Austin, has some important thoughts on belief in God. Particularly in the differences between motivations to believe God exists and reasons to believe God exists. He writes:
In my own case, I am partly motivated to believe that God exists and seek to live life as a follower of Christ because it works. I honestly believe that I flourish, my family flourishes, and I have a part in helping my community flourish as I seek to live out my faith in daily life. But there are many ways of life that work for individuals to one degree or another. I am also motivated to believe because I think that good reasons for such belief are available. The upshot is that while the possibilities concerning the afterlife can motivate people to believe in God, we should also consider what reasons can be given for and against the truth of such belief. From my own experience, when difficulties come, it is not enough to say "Belief works for me." Rather, I want all of my beliefs, including those about the supernatural, to be true. That, at least, is what I seek.
He is right that the distinction is important for both believers and non-believers to understand. While the accusation is sometimes made that Christians may believe for “fire insurance” – that they will simply avoid hell or wind up in heaven – that should not be mistaken for reasons why someone may believe. And while it can be the case that practicality or eternal consequences can be motivators for belief, they will not last long without a strong foundation of reasons to believe.
So, two things present themselves to me. First, the skeptic should carefully weigh their attacks on faith and aim at reasons and not motivations. And second, the believer ought to buttress their motivations for belief with good, solid reasons.